Tag Archives: Gender Identities

A Letter To My Allies

(Use of word “faggot”.)

Dear Allies,

Thank you for supporting me being honest about my sexual orientation (pansexual) and gender presentation (nonconforming to the expected male presentation). For me your support seems like a no brainer (I mean, come on, why should you care if I enjoy giving blowjobs and wearing velvet dresses?) but I recognize that some of you have had to overcome a lifetime’s worth of teachings about how homosexual sex is gross and men wearing dresses can only be viewed in terms of comedy so that’s pretty nice of you. Good job on being nice to me about issues that do not actually impact you.

With all this being said there is something I think we should go over.

Allies, sometimes y’all are really irritating. Sometimes I’m tempted to throw up my hands and say, “Enough! I’m done with straight people and done with people whose sex and gender and gender presentation all match society’s expectations! You can all go fuck yourselves for all I care because I am done interacting with you lot.” However not only is this impractical it’s also unproductive. I’d much rather change society than moving to an isolated mountain where you all can’t get to me; which means that I need to teach you what I makes someone a real ally to me.

Here are the ground rules that I expect from my allies:

  1. Don’t Tell Me How I “Should” or “Really” Identify: The labels I use are ones that I feel most at home in, that I feel best represent me. If you’re Straighty McStraight-Straight from Straight St. then I don’t want to hear your opinions on what labels I should be using. You could have a degree in Gender or Queer Studies but if you’re straight I’m not going to let you tell me my identity. Once you know how it feels to live my life that’s when you get to talk to me about my identity/labels.
  2. I Get To Reclaim Slurs, You Don’t: I have a friend that calls me a faggot and I call him faggot as well. If almost any other person called me a faggot I’d probably punch them. My friend and I use such language to each other not only because we know that we both feel safe but because our use of it becomes a “Fuck You” to anyone who has used it as a slur. If you want to use the word faggot around me then talk to me about it first. It may be that I’m comfortable with you using it but I’d rather have you ask then assume. Furthermore if your friend uses a slur as a label that still doesn’t give you permission to use it casually around me or to apply it to me. I respect your friend’s identity but we are two different people.
  3. When I Say “Stop” You Stop: This really should be a given but from my own experiences it isn’t. When we’re talking about gender or sexuality and I get uncomfortable I can shut this motherfucker down. It doesn’t matter if we’re joking around or having a serious conversation, I retain my right to unilaterally stop a situation that makes me feel triggered or unsafe or hurt. Frequently it will have nothing to do with you and everything to do with my own psychological discomfort so know that it’s not personal.
  4. Don’t You Dare Come Into My Safe-Spaces: When it comes to sexual orientations and gender presentations the majority of the world is probably a physical and emotional safe-space for you. In response to this I need to go to spaces that are intentionally created to be safe for people like me. These spaces are safe because people like you aren’t in them. Again, it’s nothing personal but I need the opportunity to be with people like me. You know, like how almost anywhere you go you’ll find other straight and gender-conforming people just like you.
  5. I Am Not Your Punch line: Please, for the love of all that is holy stop trying to make jokes about my identity. Society is full of these jokes and not only do I find them not funny but I find them actually painful. Throughout our relationship I’ll let you know what I’m comfortable with you joking about but unless I say it’s ok please shut your mouth.

Got it? Good.

I know, I know, these four rules seem so utterly basic that it seems almost silly for me to write them down like this but that’s the sad part. This sad part, this utterly tragic part, is that these seemingly obvious rules are violated in my life on a regular basis. On a regular basis I find my identity questioned or my safe-space violated by people who are trying to be my allies and that’s just not cool.

If you read this list and thought, “Oh good! I’m an ally of Samuel and I’ve done none of these things!” then I need you to think long and hard about all of our past interactions. I’m surrounded by wonderful allies but I’m hard pressed to think of a single one who hasn’t broken at least one of these rules at least once. Now that I’ve shared this with you please be mindful. Please remember that sometimes I’m too afraid or too hurt to speak up so you need to take a level of responsibility for your words.

Of course we all make slip-ups. Sometimes we don’t even know that we’re hurting one another but it’s important that we have these conversations to make sure that there’s as little hurt going on as possible. Allies, be aware of what those you support tell you they need or want. Be mindful that sometimes it’s painful or embarrassing or frightening for some of us to tell you that you’re being a shitty ally so don’t assume silence is approval. When you feel that you need to ask questions then ask them (Try to be respectful about this part.) and honor the answers you get.

Thanks a bunch.


Samuel A. Zaber

I Do NOT Cross-Dress

Look at how lovely I am in this dress. I am a man and I’m wearing a dress and I’m not wearing cross-dressing. What. That’s a nice dress. (Photo credit: Skye at “My Kingdom for a Hat” [colormebrazen.wordpress.com])

If you define cross-dressing as a person wearing clothing that their culture expects to see on a different gender/sex then alright, I suppose I do cross-dress. I mean, fine, alright, I guess I’m crossing gender/sex lines when I, a self-identified male with a penis, put on a dress but I don’t really think of it like that. It’s not like I wake up and go to my closet and say, “Well I could wear these pants and turtleneck or I could subvert American society’s traditional and oppressive gender norms by putting on this grey and lighter-shade-of-grey striped dress with three buttons off-center of the collar’s front.”

To be honest what I’m thinking when I get dressed is, “Shit, shit, shit, shit, late, shit, shit, this clean, shit, shit, shit.” OR “What would Emily Gilmore wear?” OR “How much like Virginia Woolf will I look if I wear this?” I suppose the question I most often ask myself when getting dressed is, “What do I want to wear today?”

When I look at clothing I don’t look at how they’ve been gendered by society. I see trousers that would fit me, skirts with waists that are too big for me, pencil skirts that make my ass look damn wonderful. I see them in terms of how they relate to my body, how they’ll look when placed on my physical body.

This tendency to forget that clothing comes with gender implications can sometimes get me in uncomfortable situations. There have been times when I forgot I was going to pick up a job application from a store and put on a pencil skirt before leaving the house. I’m not ashamed of my pencil skirts but I do recognize that depending on where I’m getting my job application my clothing may have a negative impact on the hiring process. I’ve been so fortunate that I’ve never been in physical danger because of my clothing but I’m aware that this could change. If I feel that I’m going somewhere where my clothing might draw “danger” from people then I wear pants. The trouble is that I’m so used to wearing what I fucking want to wear that I slip on a dress or heels without a second thought.

It’s at a point now where if someone describes me as a cross-dresser or transvestite I tend to get confused by what in the name of hell they’re talking about. It’ll take me a few seconds to realize that they’re talking about my nylon stalkings from Rite-Aid, black dress with white lilies and short sleeves, strand of fake pearls and light mascara. There’s nothing wrong with being a cross-dresser or a transvestite but it’s not how I see myself. In my mind I’m not crossing gender lines or wearing another gender’s clothing, I’m just wearing… my clothes.

“This is my daily activism,” I tell myself when I’m made aware of my nontraditional clothing choices (This awareness is usually triggered by someone staring at me like I’m a chimp in a mu-mu singing “My Sharona.”)  Sometimes this reminder, this reminder that I’m fighting the gender binary simply by putting on a sundress, is nice but sometimes it makes me sad. It makes me sad that my clothing is in anyway provocative or even interesting beyond the fact that it’s nice.

My day-to-day clothing is fairly conservative. I like clothing that makes me look like Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, or Miss Marple or your grandmother. My colors tend towards darker tones and my favorite fabric is tweed. Yes, I wear loud broaches but if I my body had prominent breasts and didn’t have stubble and wasn’t so tall then my clothing wouldn’t raise eye brows. The fact that I get stares because I’m a man wearing this clothing can get pretty annoying.

Clothing trends will change. I predict that in my life it will be commonly accepted for men in my society to wear dresses but I’m afraid that these dresses will have some stupid name like “he-dress” or “man-robe.” (Think of the “man-purse.” Why, why, why for the love of all that I hold holy, why did we need to call it a “man-purse?”Isn’t it a purse period, full stop, end of story, stop right there mister you’re going to jail, hold it, go no further, do not pass go?) When women started wearing trousers regularly in the early 1900’s did we call pants for women “woman-pants?” (No seriously, did we? I want to know if someone can answer this.) By fixing these new gender labels to clothing we’re perpetuating this highly unnecessary habit of assigning clothing to various genders. Let’s call a dress a dress, no matter who it’s on.

In conclusion: No, I do not identify as a cross-dresser or transvestite or as a drag queen or, or, or, or… I identify as male and look forward to the day where I can wear what I want to wear and not have to explain my sartorial choices.

Why Are We Still Making Jokes About the Bieb’s Masculinity?

Two things:

  1. This title sucks.
  2. This is my third rant-y/complain-y post this month but I don’t really feel sorry about that.

According to Wikipedia Justin Bieber was discovered when he was around 14 years old. For the last five years he’s been growing up in the public eye and he’s been exposed to a lot of harsh criticism. The idea of a teenager being in that hyper-exposed world is something that I have qualms with but for now all I really care about is why we keep making jokes about Justin Bieber being a girl.

When people don’t like Mr. Bieber’s music or how he presents or what his fanbase is like they tend to either bring focus their critiques on his perceived feminine qualities. His hair, his voice, his body, his songs’ content, his clothing, everything seems to be too effeminate for large swaths of our society. Whenever these insults are brought up I end up grinding my teeth until my gums are bloody and ripping the hair from my head.

This form of mockery encourages a strict adherence to gender norms that is restrictive, outdated and generally absurd. Our society already likes its separate gender norms and we really don’t need to be encouraging it. Bashing Justin Bieber based on aspects of his poor adherence to “masculinity” is loud and vocal in prominent areas of our popular culture and the fact that they’re rarely contradicted gives legitimacy to what they say.

While I think this is concerning for all members of our society (I think every one is negatively effected by a black-and-white gender binary.) I am particularly worried about children and teenagers who are trying to find their identity. This sort of humor tells them that it’s not alright to go outside of their gender norms, that they should adhere to these norms unless they want to get made fun of.

More specifically I am concerned about males who are growing up while exposed to this. Speaking from personal experience I feel that I can safely say that it’s not always easy being a male who doesn’t always present as your gender is expected to. We need more people telling boys that they can have “feminine” characteristics if that’s what they feel comfortable in and that we’re not going to laugh at them for it.

 I’m also irritated by that saying that Justin Bieber has “feminine” qualities is meant to be offensive or degrading. What message are we sending to young children when we say that having stereotypical feminine features is bad? Are we telling girls that they way society wants to them to behave are ways that are less-than the way we want boys to behave? Are we telling boys that it’s beneath them to have anything in common with girls? There’s an Iggy Pop quote that gets trotted out frequently during discussions like this one and I want to trot it out again (I’m also having a hard time sourcing it and would love any primary sources you can provide me.), “I’m not ashamed to ‘dress like a woman’ because I don’t think it’s shameful to be a woman.”

My final point is that people say really cruel and horrible things to celebrities they’ve never met. When looking through the internet before writing this post I kept coming across slurs and death threats and rape jokes and all matter of general horrendous language. (The “I Hate Justin Bieber” fan-page on Facebook is a pretty good snapshot of the shit being thrown.) Look, I get that when you put yourself into the spotlight by becoming a celebrity you need to expect a level of hate coming at you. Can we just think about the fact that Justin Bieber is still a teenager, though? I mean, since he first became famous adult men and women have been saying really cruel things about him in public forums. What sort of society are we that seems to think this is alright?

I’m not saying that you need to love Justin Bieber. What I am saying is that we can think before we can speak. Yes, he is a celebrity and yes, he’s probably not going to hear what you or your friends say about him but this doesn’t mean that other people won’t hear it. Be aware of the words you use and the weight they carry in society and the context in which they use them. We don’t need to perpetuate a society where boys are afraid to expose their less “masculine” sides. We don’t have to encourage people to use slurs and other terrible language about a teenager. We sure as hell don’t need to talk about traditionally feminine qualities as if they’re second-class or something to be ashamed of.

Censorship is a crappy and terrible thing that I want no part of but when we hear this sort of language used we can use it as an opening to start conversations about gender and whatnot. So please, don’t stand silent when your friends are talking about “Justine” Bieber. Please help to end this sort of behavior in our culture.

Review: “Trans/Love: radical sex, love & relationships beyond the gender binary”

I don’t know when I first heard of Trans/Love but I do know that at some point I got it into my head that it was a collection of beyond the binary erotica. Last week a friend met me for coffee and they lent me a copy for my train ride up to Vermont. I read the first story somewhere South of Brattleboro, Vermont, and went, “Meh.” As I plodded through the second story something clicked in my head and I went back to read the introduction. I was entirely wrong: These were not erotic stories but rather personal essays of, to quote the subtitle, “radical sex, love & relationships beyond the gender binary.” In that moment everything changed. I had been reading as if I was reading erotic stories designed to get me off and once I realized that these were non-fiction essays I found them intensely more engaging.

I’m not going to review every single essay in this anthology. Frankly I think that these essays work together to create a beautiful entity. I’m not saying that there aren’t any that can stand on their own but as a whole these essays weave tell stories from the East Coast to the West, from people of varied ethnic backgrounds, from privileged and not-privileged backgrounds, and from a variety of identities. There are 29 stories, the majority only a few pages long, and they touch upon almost any non-binary gender and sexual identities you can think of. From this highly enjoyable collection I’d like to showcase a few that I found to be particularly wonderful.

You know what we need more of in our progressive and positive communities? Acceptance and representation of “other” bodies. Joelle Ruby Ryan’s “Fat, Trans and Single: Some Thoughts from an ‘Othered’ Body on Control, Alientaion, and Liberation” talks about their experiences as a “fat, single, genderqueer, transfeminist, writer, teacher, [and] activist.” Beyond discussing the experiences of fat or otherwise differently bodied queers they also do an excellent job of addressing bi- and asexual erasure.  For some this essay might be a wakeup and for others it might be a reminder but no matter what it’s a damn important essay.

Speaking of building inclusive communities- There’s a two-and-a-half page excerpt from Imani Henry’s play B4T (before testosterone) that tells of a non-binary sexual encounter between two people of color. Alright, it’s actually so much more complicated than that but I’m going to say that you need to read this piece to fully take it in. Jennie Kermode’s “Getting It Out In Public” tells the story of their discovery that they are intersexed. Their story is interesting as is but I highly appreciated their discussion of their intersex identity as I feel that this is an identity that is far too frequently left out.

It might be the fact that I’m baby/toddler crazy at the moment but I am in love with the two family-with-children focused essays in this anthology. “Milk, Please” by Patch Avery is a lovely meditation on fatherhood, queers in “traditional” family models, and being brown in America. “Out Loud and Pride Six Months Before Surgery” by Dee Ouellette is also lovely but focuses on her experiences as a “queer tranny […] mother” and her own process with adopting the labels that felt right to her.

“City Hall,” the story of Phyllis Pseudonym’s green-card marriage, gave me the warm-cuddlies all throughout my body. This snapshot of her life, the few hours in the morning that follow along with her wedding, was, well, well it gave me a hope for my own romance. Besides finding her writing to be enjoyable to read I also found myself envious of her relationship. Alright, maybe not envious since I’m happy with my life right now but it gave me comfort to know that there are other people in the world who are looking for the same sort of relationships that I am.

I don’t want to say that I had a favorite essay but, um, yeah, I’ve got two favorite essays. While I was touched and inspired and brought to tears and to laughter throughout this collection there were two that I found particularly relatable and significant. Don’t know if you’ve picked up on this yet but I’m fascinated by the act of sex and how sex is important to us as individuals. “Made Real” by Sassafras Lowrey and “Resexing Trans” by Kai Kohlsdorf are both on this subject. Please just read them, they come highly recommended by me.

Look, I really think you should read Trans/Love. Buy it, borrow it, steal ( well, no, don’t steal it), do what you need to do to get your hands on it. This anthology is important, and not just for members of the queer community. There are so many topics and themes brought up that don’t receive enough attention from us, whether we’re queer or straight. For many of you this slim collection of the stories of people from a wide variety of marginalized sexual/gender identities will end up educating you and expose you to new ideas. Some people might be afraid of the words “radical sex” on the but if you can handle HBO or George RR Martin then you can easily handle Trans/Love.

Trans/Love; Morty Diamond, ed.; copyright 2011; Manic D Press, pub.

Sexual Desires: Not Just For Men

Sprint put out a new ad featuring NBA star Kevin Durant and here it is:

I was actually really, really, really into this commercial when I first started watching it because I thought we were going to see a woman having a sexual attraction to a dude. What? Women have sexual urges? But that’s only for teh mens!? Then we see that the mom is all excited because her husband can now clean out the gutters. Silly us thinking that women could be sexual.

Yes, I’ll totally admit that I’m an emotionally volatile person and that when I first saw this commercial my mind immediately went to, “FEMINISM! Let that woman have her own sexual desires!” Maybe I’m missing part of the joke. Maybe the joke is that this woman is excited not only because she likes her husband’s new reaching abilities but maybe she’s also excited about his body. Curious to see if there were other reactions similar to mine I turned to Google and wasn’t happy. The entire first page of search results that I got were just websites posting the commercial along with a sort description, not exactly the critique or discussion that I was looking for. Desperate for any discussion I went to the comments section of YouTube and found… nothing. Aside from the usual trolls all the comments were just about how funny this commercial is*.

I don’t think I’m entirely immune to humor. The set up is that we think the mom’s thinking about sex but then we find out she’s thinking about housework! Hilarious! This humor seems to be very similar to that of Porn for Women, you know, that book of “beautiful PG photos of hunky men cooking, listening, asking for directions, accompanied by steamy captions: ‘I love a clean house!’ or ‘As long as I have two legs to walk on, you’ll never take out the trash.'” (From their Amazon page)

Alright, so there’s an element of satire to these pieces but I’m concerned that this represents our society’s overwhelming attitude toward’s female sexuality. Yes, we are admitting that sexual appetite’s aren’t only for men but we still cling to the “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus”-model. Porn for men? Grunting, pounding, rough. Porn for women? Muscly men wearing tight jeans and moving slowly to terrible background music. Obviously this isn’t all porn but our media seems to think this is most porn. Admitting that women have sexual urges is a step forward but confining their sexual urges to a very limited role isn’t so great.

In fact why do we need to give certain types of sexual urges to people based off of their gender? Men can be into slower, more “soft” porn and women can be into more grunting and pounding. Of course, these two gender roles completely ignore gender-neutral, gender-queer, third-gender and every other gender identity out there. Basically I’m extremely pissed off that in this day and age we still assign sexual desires because of someone’s gender. Let’s just admit that you can like what you like! And not only that but what you like is allowed to shift and change. Some days I’m interested in porn that involves power-play and some days I’m into porn that focuses on oral sex and some days I’m not interested in porn what so ever. So Sprint (and anyone else who buys ad-time or ever interacts with another human ever), please, please, please stop reinforcing these outdated ideas about sexual desires. Thanks.

Here are two things that I like:

xkcd: Porn For Women

There’s also this piece from CollegeHumor about the male stars in porn films (mildly NSFW):

(Am I completely alone in this? Is there a large male/female** divide in porn? And if you think there is a divide do you have any non-anecdotal evidence? Want to tell me I’m full of shit? Comments are really, really welcomed.)

Also- I’ve got a bunch of new things in my Etsy/Redbubble shops. Check out the links at my blog post on my website: hypatiaofvermont.com/news. I’ve got rent and stuff to pay and would really appreciate any support, that includes telling your friends about the cool stuff I’m selling. Thanks!

*I also looked at the “behind the scenes” video that Sprint put out. Nothing.

**Ugh, binary, GENDER DOES NOT EQUAL BINARY. I just feel like this conversation so often boils down to a strict binary and we should really start having a conversation about being inclusive. Going to write that blog post at some point.

Etiquette: Approaching a Man in a Dress

(Let’s start things off with a disclaimer: I am a man who wears “women’s” clothing but I can’t speak for every man who wears dresses. Like most questions of etiquette all advice given must be then applied in regards to the situation. To quote Stephen Fry in his excellent piece on the beauty of language, “Context, convention and circumstance are all.”  But onto the meat of this post.)

It’s 2012 (soon to be 2013, dear mother of everything that’s holy) and it’s highly probable that you’ve encountered a man in a dress. Maybe you were behind a man in heels while online at the grocery store, or perhaps a close male friend sometimes wears muumuus  to parties. For the past two years  I’ve been that man (well, I do prefer pencil skirts to muumuus, much more flattering for my figure) and I’ve had a some… awkward encounters  with strangers, family members and friends who feel uncomfortable with my sartorial choices.  Understandably, many people are uncomfortable when they first meet me. It’s not that they’re looking at me and comparing me to the Son of Satan, it’s simply that they really don’t want to offend me. I appreciate it that, I really do.

When approaching a man in a dress the most important thing for you to keep in mind is that (get ready for this, it’s a shocker) IT’S NOT A BIG DEAL. Seriously. The fact that I’m a male identified person whose wearing a fitted black black dress, fishnet stockings and sensible librarian shoes doesn’t mean that I’m a homosexual or a child molester or confused about my gender or an anarchist (For the record: I’m none of those four.) Smile, keep calm and treat me like you would anyone else.

There is the big issue of gendered words in the English language. I’ve had many encounters with people in retail where I’m addressed like this, “Hello, sir, sorry, madam, I mean, sir?, sir, madam, hello? I’m sorry.” If you’re in this situation then just breathe and remember, it’s not your fault. If anyone is to blame it’s the English language and its male-female based language. A few intrepid folks are trying to help rectify this by bringing in third-gender/gender-neutral pronouns (this is a link to the Wikipedia page on the topic) but these pronouns haven’t yet been fully adopted into language. When the time and situation allows for it a friendly, “Excuse me, may I ask what your preferred pronouns are?”, can’t hurt. In cases where there really isn’t a chance to ask about preferred pronouns then I’d have to recommend that you try to skip over any gendered-words. If you really, really, really have to use gendered-words like ma’am or sir then I suppose you’ll have to go with your gut.  Really, we could totally use a form of polite address that doesn’t carry gender…

There’s a strange trend where complete strangers will meet me and then seem to want to demonstrate how down-with-blowing-up-out-dated-gender-stereotypes-and-roles they are by immediately saying something that acknowledges the fact that I’ve got a penis and I’m wearing a dress. These comments tend to divide into two categories:

You know, my cousin’s daughter has a friend who also realized he’s a girl.


 How do your parents feel about you wearing dresses?

The first is, is, well it’s ridiculous. My clothing tells you jack-shit about my gender identity. To assume that you know anything about my gender identity is just a bunch of bull. And let’s talk about why you think I’m trans (AND let’s also point out that the way the first comment is phrased is quite problematic. If you don’t see anything wrong with the first comment please look at the links to resources at the end of this post.)- Maybe I am, maybe I’m not but either way YOU DON’T KNOW.  You can ask my preferred pronoun or just don’t bring it up. This first type of comment is also irritating since it relies on a very divided concept of gender and gender performance that says that only female-identified people wear “women’s” clothing.

The second type of comment is really uncomfortable and quite frankly not really your business. If we’re close friends or are having a nice conversation about gender and gender-identity in which I share a bit of my own experience then great, ask away! When you’re a stranger this is just weird. You have no idea about my history with my parents and my sartorial choices. Perhaps I’ve had some really horrific experiences that I simply don’t want to talk about or maybe I haven’t, either way you simply don’t know. So please, unless we’re not complete strangers, how about you don’t bring this up? Great, thanks.

Here’s a quick re-hash of what we’ve learned today:

  1. Men in dresses isn’t a big deal. Really. I promise.
  2. A nice polite, “Excuse me, do you have preferred pronouns?”, is nice.
  3. Calm down, it’s not a big deal. Seriously.
  4. My clothing tells you nothing about my gender identity (or any other aspect of any of my other identities, for that matter) and to assume that you know my gender identity is kinda rude…
  5. Take a deep breath, you’ll be fine.
  6. YOU DON’T NEED TO TALK TO ME ABOUT MY FASHION CHOICES. Compliments? Compliments are great. “You look better in a dress than most women”? Not so great.

Most importantly- What I’ve written can’t be applied to every situation you’ll find yourself in. I’ve laid out my opinion on the subject but you can bet there are other men in dresses who disagree with me on this. Please feel free to respond with your thoughts on my suggestion.

Super Cool Resources On Gender And Fashion And Cool Things:

Genderfork: According to their “about” blurb: “Genderfork is a supportive community for the expression of identities across the gender spectrum.” This is less of a resource for self-education on gender identities and more of a beautiful online community that I highly recommend looking at.

LOOK HOW PRETTY THIS IS! The graphic originally is from TSER but I discovered via Project Queer.

Actually, just go TSER’s sweet graphics page for some rather well designed presentations. The focus is on trans* identities (and let’s face it, who among us couldn’t use a brush-up on how to not be a stupid-head on trans* identities?) but it includes some excellent information about gender identities.

And of course Planned Parenthood has a lovely page on gender.